Alright, so I took the advice and have my 552PS being recapped and DR’d which I’m excited to receive back hopefully in the next few weeks. Thanks for all the help guys!
I have been thinking of moving on from the ND5XS2/nDac/555ps (non-Dr) to a ND555 but haven’t done anything. Now I’m thinking of moving up from the 300DR to the 500DR instead of the ND555. I can’t do both moves right now, and quite frankly, may be reaching to do either one but heck, we can speculate and make the decision sometime! I guess I’m a bit hesitant on the ND555 knowing that something newer will more than likely come around in the next couple years to replace it. The 500DR seems like a good fit with my 552 and NBL’s and more of a standard if that makes any sense.
Do you have other sources apart from Streamer ? if so I would suggest 500 as for me when I added the 500 to the 552 it really made them “whole”. If you have other sources it will benefit them all and as you say potentially if a new/better ND555 replacement comes out you will not have an old tech there, but not sure that will be any time soon …
I see you have a LP12 as well. The issue here is just how high end your nDac/555/ND5 front end is? Could you borrow an ND555 from your dealer, that way you’ll get a flavour for how good your current digital source is in comparison.
Of course you don’t have to do anything😁
I do have a Radikal LP12 with a Superline phono stage powered by a Supercap DR. I have no way to demo anything unfortunately.
For me the difference between CD555 and ND555 (both powered by 2x 555DR) was a much bigger jump than 300DR to 500DR and CDS3/XPSDR to CD555/2x555DR which I did at the same time. The ND555 in the right system is incredible. I will say I started the ND555 with a Melco N10 and ER switch/Sean Jacobs PS at the same time so maybe not a straight comparison. I sold my CD555 very quickly and have never missed it.
I went from nDAC/555PS-DR to ND555. It’s a massive step up.
I’d go for the ND555 first.
The NAP500DR was also quite an impressive change, but not as radical as replacing the nDAC with the ND555 (I had the NAP300DR before).
I upgraded to an ND555 with a 552 DR + 300 DR and it was a great pairing. I enjoyed it and was not looking to change, then my dealer called with a great offer on a refurbished 500 DR! Go for the ND555 and enjoy it.
Interesting, I wonder if @PeterR has had this itch yet…
Just think Peter, the musical adventure you could go on each session, hearing artists you’ve never heard of. It’s like getting your driving license for the first time and becoming a free man, there’s a whole world out there.
As @Steve said, if you choose to go with the ND555 first, I’d suggest adding an EtherRegen + PS or the Innuos PhoenixNet.
Don’t hold your breath. The 1st gen streamers lasted for about a decade, and I’m sure Naim have every intention of keeping the current range going for at least as long.
I think it really comes down to what you listen to. How much vinyl, how much streaming? What are you hoping to achieve? Are you maximizing what you already have?
Vinyl rig- good interconnects, at the 500 level, Chord Music is the best I have heard without losing the “Naim sound” Sarum T is close but inferior, SL was far behind in my system. Cartridge, how new?, it has a huge impact in sound quality, spending 1-2k here or more can dramatically upgrade your sound, especially with a Superline/SCDR in place. Vibration control, power conditioning and or a dedicated power line are also a good use of funds. Believe it or not a Shunyata ethernet cable made a huge difference in my digital sound quality, also changing the power supplies on my router and streamer improved the sound profoundly.
The 500dr was a huge upgrade over the 300dr in my system. How high are your turning up the volume? Do you feel like you run out of gas as you raise the volume? Good bass at low volume levels? I would have a hard time shelling out for 500 level streamer, with 2 power supplies, when you can get a Bartok or Mola Mola DAC for less with more upgradeability. Either way I think you will be pleased. I would also consider upgrading your speaker cables, again Music was the best in my system and I tried many many different ones. Good luck.
All great replies as always everyone!. I listen mostly to my streamer now as we have a couple little kids and just for ease and listening, we have the streamer going all the time. @kleinbje I mostly listen at lower volumes and thought the 500 DR would help with that aspect but could be wrong completely. I have a Chord music 5 pin from the nDac to the 552 and a Sarum T from the Supercap DR to the 552. I also have Chord Sarum TA from the 300DR to 552 Ps with Superlumina speaker cables. Ansuz C2 Distribution with A2 and C2 power cables.
Then ND555 next (you already have a 555PS), and that is from someone who has just installed a 500DR.
Repeat after me, ‘source first….source first’
Sounds like you have things, pretty well sorted cable wise. I have heard great things about Ansuz, but have not heard them. The digital power supply cable for the 552 should be upgraded if not already, not sure what naim’s best cable is here, but get it, or pm me for other non-forum friendly recs. It was huge and unexpected improvement for my 52.
I would strongly consider trading in your SL speaker cables and the Sarum TA for Music din/xlr and speaker cables. In addition an upgraded ethernet cable(I have tried Audioquest and Shunyata, both made a huge difference over the throwaway blue cat cable I was using) and or a fancy EE switch(have not auditioned personally fyi) you will get more bang for your buck. These upgrades will IMHO be a big improvement over what you are running, I ran sarum and SL with a 52/300dr setup before I found used Musics. These upgrades will also transition well should you get a new box down the road.
If you have to ‘fly blind’ and not audition at home first, go for the ND555. It’s a fabulous source. It will transform your current system in a way far from what the 500DR will do.
My thought would be, if the speakers struggle with the 300DR, get the 500DR. That can have a huge impact: I experienced that on my Dynaudios by moving from 250DR to 300DR. Otherise, if streaming is your main source, the ND555 is a no brainer.
I have to agree, the effects from well driven speakers is incredible.
Just go with your gut, you’ll get many different responses.
NBLs love a 500 but the ND555 is pretty compelling. You want both but which comes first depends on how often you listen to vinyl compared to streaming. The turntable will still be top source if its setup is good.
The 300 is already good for low level listening (I had with SL2s and then 808s) - but I haven’t compared that directly with a 500 (which I now have) to see if / how much better the 500 is for low level listening. That’s not much help is it?
But I would go for nd555 first - that is what I did (552 first then nd555 and then 500)
Same order of upgrades for me too.
Seemed to work fine, with nicely balanced uplifts in SQ, and never too unbalanced during the process.